Trying it on for size….

Over the weekend I’ve been at the writing  course I mentioned in an earlier post.  It was fantastic and very scary.  I am amongst people who are already working in the industry. The tutors are honest but encouraging.  The students are confident and helpful.  It’s a wonderful learning environment.  


Apart from my own neuroses that I’m trying to deal with, there has been quite a lot of conversation about children, sparked by the fact that one of the student’s wives just had a baby – He missed a couple of classes because of it.  So there’s been much congratulaions and many questions about names and the birth etc.  I’ve asked a few polite questions but mostly I subtly, (I hope), remove myself from more involved conversations.

ANYWAY…Because I am 39 and therefore old enough to have children, I’ve been asked quite a few times if I do have children.  The other night, one lovely guy told me that he was thinking about having children with his wife as it was about time since he was now 39.   He paused for a second and said “Do you have kids?”

For the first time ever I replied  “No, I can’t have children”.

It felt like a break through. 

In the past I’ve responded with  “I’ve been trying for 6 years” or “We’re actually just in the middle of IVF” or “I’d love to but it hasn’t worked out yet, but we’re still trying”…or variations on the above.  This has elicited lots of unwanted advice and more intrusive questions.

“No, I can’t have children”.  Those words elicited a silence, a frown, an “Oh, I’m sorry” and a sympathetic smile.  At this stage that’s what I want.  I replied wth “That’s life”.  And on that thought we both connected.  LIfe brings unwanted challenges sometimes – surely everyone can agree on that.


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One Response to “Trying it on for size….”

  1. Zee Says:

    I’ve just found your blog now, even though you left a kind comment on mine a while back. This post really resonates with me, as I’m at a similar point with what I say to people when they ask The Question. Like you, I used to respond with some variation of “Not yet!” But now that I’m clearly up there in age, this elicts more puzzled looks than anything. What I usually say is, “No, unfortunately.” or “No. It never actually worked out for us.” I’ve found that this is better than a plain, “No,” which can lead people to think that it was by choice. The fact is I’m still too raw to deal with inadvertently hurtful comments like, “You’re lucky!” (Yeah. Five years of trying, a miscarriages and chemical pregnancies galore. That’s lucky alright.)

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